Eastern winners awarded in Grain Farmers of Ontario’s inaugural spring wheat challenge

Elgin, ON (January 19, 2011) – Exceptional wheat growers were recognized at a GFO District meeting today in Elgin, Ontario. The top three winners from Eastern Ontario were awarded prizes this afternoon for their big win in GFO’s first ever Spring Wheat Challenge.

“This new challenge was a natural direction for GFO as we’ve had such great success with the Soybean Yield Challenge in past years,” says Jaye Atkins, Vice President of Strategic Development at GFO. “The Spring Wheat Challenge was planned to recognize excellent growers of wheat and to stimulate discussion about this crop.”

The challenge attracted 29 registrants this year. “We’re happy with this participation given that this was the first year of the competition,” says Crosby Devitt, Manager of Research and Market Development at GFO. 

GFO is even happier with the yields. Final entries had to be of milling quality to compete and of those, the average yield was 71.9 bushels per acre. “Although spring wheat is historically challenging to grow, it is clear that success is attainable as demonstrated by these growers,” says Devitt.

The challenge was split into two geographic zones to best reflect the entrants, each of which will receive a cash prize of $1,500 for first place. Second place winners will take home $750 and third place winners will be awarded $500.

The challenge was made possible by a generous and exclusive sponsorship from Bayer CropScience.

The 2010 GFO Spring Wheat Challenge Eastern Winners are:

1st Place                John and Beth Nanne, Pakenham, Sable, 74.52 bu/ac

2nd Place               Jockbrae Farms Ltd, Carlton Place, AC Brio, 71.12 bu/ac

3rd Place               Appaulo Farms Ltd., Carp, 59.42 bu/ac           

The western Ontario winners will be announced at the GFO meeting in Orangeville on January 26, 2011. Check out the February issue of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine for information about the winners’ management practices.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario re-launches website

GUELPH, ON (January 10, 2011)  – On January 10th, GFO launched an updated version of www.gfo.ca. With an improved user interface, simplified navigation, and personal interactive elements, the site will better serve farmer members.

Some key improvements are the addition of local weather, price information, and GFO news and events front and center on the homepage. Interactive commodity reports for streamlined data and priority links in the right panel of each page will also help users access the information they need.

The changes are the result of insight gathered from a series of face-to-face interviews with farmer members of different usability levels. These interviews, conducted by third party communications agency Quarry Integrated Communications, provided detailed input on challenges, needs, and priorities of users. Some clear trends and similarities were defined and Quarry worked with GFO to develop an updated site architecture.

The suggestions have now been implemented and GFO is looking forward to further developing the site to become the number one source for grain farming information in Ontario.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Deferred payments now permitted under the grains act

GUELPH, ON (December 17, 2010) – The Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA) and Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are pleased with the recent changes that OMAFRA has made to the deferred payment regulations that are effective immediately.  As a result of this regulatory change, it is “business as usual” in producer/elevator arrangements regarding deferred payments. This change in regulations provides relief from the “non compliance” status of deferred payment arrangements between elevators and producers through until July 1, 2012.

Elevators and producers entering into deferred payment arrangements will not be subject to compliance or enforcement activities by Agricorp.  However, other provisions of the Grains Act will continue to be enforced.  It is important to note that any deferred payment arrangements entered into going forward between a producer and elevator should not have a settlement date that extends beyond July 1, 2012.

OABA and GFO would like to thank the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carol Mitchell, for her swift action in making the necessary regulatory change to facilitate deferred payments until a permanent solution is reached.

This regulatory change is a result of OABA’s and GFO’s shared success in raising the importance of this issue within OMAFRA and Agricorp, resulting in productive meetings and this short term resolution.  Early in 2011, representatives from OABA and GFO will meet with Agricorp and OMAFRA again to develop a strategy for addressing this important business practice within the Grains Act with the intent to have this situation permanently resolved well in advance of the July 1, 2012 deadline. 

For more information, farmers are encouraged to contact Member Relations at GFO, Valerie Gilvesy (226-979-5581).  Elevator operators/dealers should contact OABA (519-822-3004) for more information.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario launches SellSmart

GUELPH, ON (December 16, 2010) – Today, Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) launched its first mobile application, SellSmart, for BlackBerry® smartphones. Providing local price information, head-to-head price comparisons, and price alerts, this mobile application will change the way Ontario farmers do business.

SellSmart is a custom application designed to put local price information at farmers’ fingertips. The price data for corn, soybeans, and wheat from the Chicago Board of Trade is adjusted with basis information from local elevators across the province and provided on a ten minute delay. To streamline the data, the application is personalized by the user to only display their elevators and commodities of interest.

“We expect this application, SellSmart, will be a game-changer for our members by providing them with near
real-time updates on market prices, giving them a stronger negotiating position,” says Erin Fletcher, Manager of Public Affairs and Communications, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The application also incorporates an alert feature for each crop and elevator. The user is able to set a target price they want to sell at and be notified by their BlackBerry® when the price is achieved. “This functionality provides farmers with the confidence that they’re not going to miss out on a favourable elevator bid,” says Fletcher.

Realizing the opportunity, GFO teamed up with FloatPoint Media Inc., a BlackBerry® Select Alliance Member, to design SellSmart. FloatPoint specializes in custom mobile application development and understands the value of mobile technology to modern agriculture.

GFO also partnered with AML Communications, a Rogers authorized dealer, to provide a BlackBerry® Torch smartphone to one prize winning farmer and together they are working on a member discount package to help all Ontario grain farmers gain access to the application through cost effective mobile connectivity using BlackBerry® technology and the Rogers Network. 

SellSmart can be downloaded to any BlackBerry® OS 5.0+ device, free of charge, at www.gfo.ca/SellSmart or through BlackBerry® App World. Although it was designed with farmers in mind, the application will also be useful for grain elevators, buyers, and users.  SellSmart is exclusively available for BlackBerry® smartphones at this time, however, GFO has plans to extend the application to other platforms in the New Year. Questions can be directed to info@gfo.ca.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

A perfect year for the Grain Farmers of Ontario soybean yield challenge

INGERSOLL, ON (December 14, 2010) – Winners of the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) Soybean Yield Challenge were announced today at a banquet in Ingersoll. The three finalists for each of three provincial soybean maturity zone received prizes, for a total of nine winners.

“This was a really exciting year,” says Jaye Atkins, Vice President of Strategic Development at GFO. “We had 60 farmers complete the competition this year, which is nearly double last year’s competitors.”

With an average yield of 61.6 bushels per acre among all challenge participants, there is no doubt that this was a winning year for soybeans. “In many parts of the province, the weather was perfect for soybeans this year. We got lots of heat and many regions received rain at near-perfect times throughout the growing season,” says Crosby Devitt, Manager of Research and Market Development at GFO.

The winners in each zone received a cash prize and all winners and runners up received tickets to Canada’s Outdoor Farm show and their local farm show – London, Toronto or Ottawa.

The overall winner with the highest yield of all zones received a trip for two to the International Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

The 2010 GFO Soybean Yield Challenge Winners are:

Overall Winner

  • Gordon Barrie & Sons, Bowmanville, Pioneer 91Y90, 74.15 bushels per acre

Zone 1 – 2700 CHU and under

Winner

  • Scott Thomson, St. Mary’s, NK S05-T6, 71.56 bushels per acre

Runners Up

  • Dave VanderBorgh, Wroxeter, OAC Drayton, 67.77 bushels per acre

  • John & Beth Nanne, Pakenham, NK S05-T6, 66.21 bushels per acre

Zone 2 – 2750 to 3000 CHU

Winner

  • Gordon Barrie & Sons, Bowmanville, Pioneer 91Y90, 74.15 bushels per acre

Runners Up

  • Frank Van Der Burg, Lancaster, Dekalb 281RY, 72.22 bushels per acre

  • R&J Fraser Farms, Ottawa, Pioneer 91Y90, 70.04 bushels per acre

Zone 3 – 3000 CHU and above

Winner

  • Mailloux Farms, Amherstburg, Pioneer 93Y20, 71.98 bushels per acre

Runners Up

  • Joseph Vanek, Chatham, NK S23-T5, 70.19 bushels per acre

  • Jon-Ern Farms, Blenheim, 5221RR2Y, 69.48 bushels per acre

GFO is the newest and largest commodity organization in Ontario, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The three crops cover 5 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output, and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province. GFO is poised to have a significant impact on Ontario agriculture.

The Soybean Yield Challenge would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Special thanks to our Platinum Sponsors: Pride Seeds, Syngenta Seeds, BASF, Hyland Seeds, HiStick, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto and Dekalb. Thanks to our Gold Sponsors: Bramhill Seeds, Maizex, Country Farm Seeds and SeCan.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario’s soybean yield challenge banquet

INGERSOLL, ON (December 14, 2010) – Members of the media are invited to join grain farmers who participated in the third Annual Soybean Yield Challenge. The 9 winners from the 3 zones will be announced. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Elmhurst Inn, 415 Harris St. Ingersoll, ON N5C 3K1 

Please RSVP to Kim Schwering kschwering@gfo.ca or 1-800-265-0550 by Monday, December 13th, 2010.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario welcomes Vice President of Strategic Development

GUELPH, ON (December 7, 2010) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased to welcome Jaye Atkins to the role of Vice President, Strategic Development.  

The Vice President, Strategic Development position will provide leadership and guidance to the Public Affairs/Communications, Market Development and Research pillars by seeking opportunities for Ontario’s producers of corn, soybean and wheat to work with grain industry stakeholders, government and the general public both domestically and internationally to add value to members.

When making the announcement, Barry Senft, CEO of GFO stated that “filling this role completes our competent and dedicated management team with a talented and enthusiastic individual who will make a significant contribution to our organization.”

Jaye was raised on a cash crop, beef, tobacco and vegetable farm in Norfolk County.  Upon graduation from Ridgetown College with a major in field and horticultural crops, he returned to his father’s farm and farmed full time for the next five years.  Jaye then returned to school to attend the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a degree in Economics. 

Jaye’s experience in agriculture has included various positions with Farm Credit Canada including Loans Officer, Marketing Manager for Ontario, Marketing Manager for Canada East and eventually to Director of Marketing – Agribusiness and Farm Finance Canada.  Jaye also has past experience working with many of the GFO members as General Manager for the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board when he was instrumental in the move from Chatham to Guelph and the implementation of the off-board marketing options.  Most recently, Jaye was the CEO of FS PARTNERS, a partnership between Perth, Norfolk, Simcoe and Waterloo Oxford Co-ops and their supplier GROWMARK.

Jaye is married to Karen with two teenage daughters Celine and Nicole and lives in Delhi, Ontario.  

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario launches online Risk Management Program calculator

GUELPH, ON (November 8, 2010) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is launching an online Risk Management Program calculator today at wwww.gfo.ca/rmp to coincide with the release of the 2010 pre-harvest payment information by Agricorp. 

The RMP calculator allows growers to measure how the program will assess their farm’s 2010 production, under a range of price scenarios.  Growers can enter their individual acreage and crop mix into the calculator and change the coverage levels to determine the best possible outcome.

“The goal of RMP has always been predictability and bankability and GFO wants to ensure that aspect of the program is fulfilled in a comprehensive and accessible format,” says Erin Fletcher, Manager, Public Affairs and Communications for GFO.

The calculator will also allow growers to enter an expected post-harvest price to run potential post-harvest scenarios.  The post-harvest prices for corn and soybeans are the daily average for Chatham delivery from October 2010 through to March 2011. The winter wheat post-harvest price is calculated from July to December 2010 using a weighted average daily price from a range of buyers, including GFO (wheat board), terminals, and elevators. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario is optimistic about the future of the Risk Management Program in Ontario.  Participation is a key factor in the evaluation of the program and also may determine future eligibility for growers.  RMP was always intended to be an insurance type program to be invested in for the long term and GFO hopes this will continue to be a consideration for those determining their participation in 2010.

The RMP calculator is available on the GFO website at www.gfo.ca/rmp. Additional information about RMP can be obtained from Agricorp online at www.agricorp.com or by phone at 1-888-247-4999.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

New role for Crosby Devitt

GUELPH, ON (September 20, 2010) – The Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is pleased to announce that Crosby Devitt’s role has been expanded to include management of the Market Development pillar to his portfolio that also includes management of Research and Innovation. Devitt’s new title, Manager, Research & Market Development will encompass both the research and, developing new and higher value markets for Ontario grain.

When making the announcement Barry Senft CEO of GFO stated “how happy we are that Crosby has taken on this added responsibility.  The merging of Research and Market Development emphasizes the effort GFO is making to move the research done in the lab into the commercial environment, which is always a challenge”.  

The broad market development strategy at GFO will remain focused in three strategic areas. The first is building long term consumer awareness of product innovations such as new food products, bio-products and fuel that can be made with grain. The second is to take the consumer demand to the next level by establishing infrastructure in Ontario or identifying high value export markets. Finally, GFO will work to enhance these domestic and export opportunities by refining our grains to meet more specialized and higher value market opportunities through new varieties and IP systems to meet the needs of the marketplace.

“I am looking forward the challenge of building on the work that was started by our legacy organizations,” says Devitt. “We have a great group of directors and delegates on the Market Development Committee guiding the market development objectives and a solid industry with innovative product development happening in Ontario to build on.”

Devitt has worked with the organization since 2005 when he was hired to manage research and innovation for the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board and subsequently managed the research portfolio of the Ontario Soybean Growers and Ontario Corn Producers’ Association as a means of creating efficiencies in grain research in Ontario. Devitt lives in Guelph with his wife and two young children and regularly drives to his farm in Ripley where he grows corn, soybeans and wheat.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

The hunt is on for Ontario’s best winter wheat

Grain Farmers of Ontario launches its new Winter Wheat Challenge

WOODSTOCK, ON (September 14, 2010) – As farmers look out in the fields at maturing beans and thoughts are focused on planting winter wheat, Grain Farmers of Ontario is excited to launch its new Winter Wheat Challenge for 2011.

The friendly competition adds some excitement to the upcoming crop year as farmers work at managing their crop for the best yield and quality. The challenge features cash prizes to draw out the best winter wheat grower in the province.

“Ontario farmers have always been excellent winter wheat growers,” says Crosby Devitt, Manager of Market Development and Research at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “With trends towards more precision management of wheat, we expect to see some outstanding results from this challenge.”

The Winter Wheat Challenge will be run similarly to GFO’s Spring Wheat and Soybean challenges. The farmer with the best yielding milling quality wheat will win a $1,500 cash prize. The 1st runner up will receive $750 and the 2nd runner up will win $500. The challenge is made possible by platinum sponsor, Bayer CropScience and Gold sponsors C&M Seeds and Hyland Seeds.

To compete, the field size must be a minimum of 10 acres and the harvested plot must be a minimum of 1.5 acres of the same field. Any certified variety of milling quality winter wheat is eligible. For full rules and to register, visit www.gfo.ca/winterwheatchallenge or visit GFO at the Outdoor Farm Show at the corner of North Mall and Sixth Lane. The deadline to register is April 1, 2011. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.